Construction work has been completed on Qatar’s historic Khalifa International Stadium, which will be officially opened this week.
Khalifa Stadium is the first proposed host venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and, after redevelopment, is ready more than five years before the tournament kicks off on 21 November, 2022.
The first match at the newly opened venue will be the 2017 Emir Cup final between Al Rayyan S.C. and Al Sadd S.C. on Friday, 19 May.
The redeveloped Khalifa International Stadium will be the first proposed World Cup 2022 stadium to host a football match
QFA president Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani said:
This historic venue is close to Qatari hearts, and has seen some of Qatar’s biggest sporting occasions over the years since 1976. It is therefore a fitting venue for the biggest match of Qatar’s football calendar, and we look forward to welcoming fans into the magnificent remodeled stadium. The venue will also host the opening game and Final of the Gulf Cup this December in Doha.
Khalifa International Stadium has undergone extensive renovation works ahead of hosting matches up to the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, as well as the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships.
The stadium will seat more than 40,000 spectators. The entire spectator area is now covered by a new roof, with an intricate net of German and Italian-made steel tension cables weighing 4,000 tonnes having been put up to hold the 92 panels in place.
New features are in full compliance with FIFA requirements and include an additional seating stand on the eastern part of the stadium, the installation of innovative cooling technology to keep spectators and players alike comfortable throughout the year, and the construction of a sports museum within the venue.
H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) said:
The completion of our first stadium for the 2022 FIFA World Cup is an important milestone for Qatar and reflects our commitment to delivering all of the proposed venues well in advance of the tournament.
This is a venue which holds a very special place in Qatar’s sporting history, and over the years we have seen some of the greatest football players from Qatar and the region make their mark here as well as world stars. This renovated stadium features many of the innovative elements, such as the new cooling technology, which we promised during our bid. We are excited to see the players take to the pitch for the game, and to welcome fans to the renovated stadium this Friday for an exciting match-day experience.
Images courtesy of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy